We were doing our warm up at bjj and I realized that it was hard for me to focus fully on what I was doing. I managed to pay full attention to my body and myself for a very short periods of time, but then always got distracted by something.

And then I figured out that I was afraid. Not afraid of anything in particular at that moment. I was overall afraid all my life. I am living with fear that something will happen to me. It is hard for me to have my back straight because I am afraid. I almost jump every time there is a loud noise next to me, I am easily frightened. All my life I had this fear and all my conscious life I tried to deal with it, I tried to win over it. Combat by always paying attention to what is going on around me, so I am prepared and can strike back; combat by making myself work harder, train harder, lead a tougher life, face uneasy situations. All this to make myself believe that I will never be afraid. And as life shows I am still there… living with fear.

I look back at my childhood and I know I felt undefended. Literally. I had to fight for myself on the streets with other kids, really fight. Before I was twelve at least twice I was attacked by men, and I got to hit back and escape both times. But it does not mean I was not afraid. May be it roots even deeper, to when I was a little baby in Russia and my mom would worry about my survival when I was severely ill at 2 months old. There are lots of episodes through out my life that are linked by fear.

I like living by myself with my kids. I do not need a man next to me. But I desire to meet a man who would be strong, caring and protective. It has been so long since somebody took care of me. I do not mean took care in a big scheme of things, but somebody who would know when I am tired and bring me a tea and a blanket. Just some human touch of caring. Somebody who would be strong and would always stand up for me and also stand up to me.

When new people meet me the usual comment I get after a few minutes is “you are such a strong woman in all ways”. And yes, I made myself be strong to be able to live standing tall, to love myself, to raise my children, to protect others, to have fun in life. I made myself be strong because I had so much fear within me. And I still have it. And it is painful to face it. I have never told myself that I had fear.

Now I know I have a lot of fear in me. And I also know that I am ok to deal with it.

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